Deadly Ebola Virus; Authorities are awaiting test results on two possible Ebola cases in Benin, Africa
Deputy chief of staff at the health ministry, Moufalilou Aboubakar, told journalists that the two patients were being treated as suspected cases of Ebola and that blood samples had been sent to foreign labs for conclusive results.
“We cannot say today that the virus is in Benin,” Aboubakar told reporters. “The patients are in isolation and under observation pending the results of the ongoing tests.”
If the patients are confirmed to have Ebola, Benin would become the fifth country in the region to be hit by the outbreak.
One patient was identified as a Nigerian man being treated at a hospital in the capital Porto-Novo.
The other is at hospital in the economic capital Cotonou.
Tiny Benin shares a border with Nigeria, which has recorded seven Ebola cases including two deaths in its largest city Lagos.
Cotonou is just a few hours drive from Lagos and there is significant traffic between the two cities each day, especially among traders.
The deadliest ever outbreak of Ebola is spreading quickly across west Africa.
Nearly 1,000 people have died from the virus since the start of the year, mostly in Liberia and Sierra Leone — which have both imposed emergency measures to contain the spread — and Guinea, where the outbreak began.
The tourist approached a park employee about getting the drone back after losing it in the almost 200-feet deep hot spring. The employee let the tourist go without initially reporting the incident to authorities.
“I don’t think the person who they spoke with realized that drones couldn’t be flown in the park or the implications of what they were being told,” Amy Bartlett, spokesperson for Yellowstone National Park, told CNN.
Drones are banned in national parks. The National Park Service announced in June that it was prohibiting unmanned aircraft from all park service-controlled lands and waters, totaling about 84 million acres throughout the country.
Park rangers have not yet spoken to the drone’s operator and are still trying to determine if they can even track that person down.
“The technology certainly has been around for a while, but this is the year that the problem has seemed to come to light for us,” Bartlett said.
Park rangers have not determined if the drone damaged the spring and if it’s necessary to recover it.
This is the latest in a string of recent drone incidents in national parks and beyond.
Visitors watching the sunset over the Grand Canyon were interrupted by a loud drone in April. And volunteers reported that a herd of bighorn sheep at Zion National Park in Utah scattered after being harassed by a drone.
Also, a Seattle woman called police in June to report a peeping Tom drone. The drone was hovering outside of her high-rise window, and the woman saw operators on the ground below with camera equipment.
The drone operators insist that they were not spying on the woman, but rather her view. They were working on plans for a new building.
Police said as long as the drone was flying in a public space, there was little that they could do.
The aircraft came down near the village of St-Jean-les-Deux-Jumeaux in the Seine-et-Marne department at around 12.30pm.
The two victims are believed to be the plane’s two pilots. Of the three injured, two are said to be in a critical condition, according to reports in the French press.
The aircraft – a single motor Pilatus PC12, took off from the Riviera resort of Cannes on Wednesday morning and was due to land at Courtrai in Belgium.
The cause of the accident is unknown, but there are suggestions that a wing of the aircraft became detached from the plane, shortly before it crashed.
Firemen, police and a unit from France’s air transport police (GTA) were at the scene.
This is not the first time a private plane has crashed in France. Last summer The Local reported how numerous people were killed in a series of crashes involving private planes.